NewsRoom Digest: Top NZ News Items for July 22, 2015

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Newsroom Digest

This edition of NewsRoom_Digest contains 8 media release snippets and 4 links for the day of Tuesday 22nd July.

Top stories in the current news cycle include Parliament unanimously passing legislation to fix a legal loophole that would have made speed limits set by around 25 local councils and authorities invalid, ongoing escalation in concerns related to prison management and Serco, and New Zealand Customs has hauled in nearly $250 million worth of methamphetamine in drug seizures just in the last six months.

In news from select committee business at Parliament, the Office of the Auditor General has defended its report into Whanau Ora to MPs and the Disability Rights Commissioner, Paul Gibson, has called for for a Health Select Committee inquiry into a law governing payments to family carers.

SNIPPETS OF THE DAY

* Politics

KiwiSaver Membership Grows: The number of KiwiSaver enrolments continues to rise in the over-18 year old target population, with an additional 11,656 members in the month of June, Finance Minister Bill English and Revenue Minister Todd McClay say.

Flag Referendum: John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.“Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity project.

Treaty Negotiations: New Zealand First says the government is making a habit of engaging in Treaty of Waitangi negotiations with Māori Authorities that do not have the full support of their Iwi. “The Minister for Treaty of Waitangi negotiations Chris Finlayson is cutting corners and rushing the settlement process,” says Spokesperson for Māori Affairs Pita Paraone.

Kiwis Miss Out:The National government’s wholesale immigration policy is seriously limiting New Zealanders chances of finding a job and rental housing, says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters. “Every one of the 58,300 – or 1,121 coming to New Zealand each week, the net migration in the past year, require a place to live. That’s pressure on the rental and housing market, in addition to extra work and student visas forcing Kiwis to compete with newcomers for jobs,” says Mr Peter.

Charter school experiment turns into shambles : The National Government’s charter school experiment has descended into chaos and it’s time for Hekia Parata to stop trying to cover up the full extent of the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

* Business

New Exchanged Traded Funds: NZX plans to launch nine new exchange traded funds to offer investors exposure to a raft of international stock markets. The Wellington-based company’s Smartshares unit has registered a prospectus to launch the new ETFs, which will invest in underlying funds offered by Vanguard, the world’s biggest mutual fund company with about US$3 trillion under management, NZX said in a statement. 

* Primary Industries

Bill To Protect Farmland: The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says.

Farmers Urged To Enter Awards: Entries for the 2016 Ballance Farm Environment Awards open on August 1, 2015. Facilitated by the New Zealand Farm Environment (NZFE) Trust, the awards promote best-practice land management by showcasing the work of people farming in a way that is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

LINKS OF THE DAY

PROSTATE CANCER CARE: Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says new clinical guidance will help reduce the harm caused by unnecessary treatments for men with low-risk prostate cancer. Read more:http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/guidance-using-active-surveillance-manage-men-low-risk-prostate-cancer

HI-TECH START-UPS: Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today welcomed a successful first year for innovative start-ups receiving repayable grants from the new technology incubators funded through Callaghan Innovation. View the funded projects here: https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/successful-first-year-hi-tech-start-ups

NZIER CALLS FOR OCR CUT: NZIER’s Monetary Policy Shadow Board recommends the Reserve Bank cuts the interest rate by 25 basis points to 3 percent this Thursday. Click here for more: http://nzier.org.nz/publication/nziers-shadow-board-calls-for-the-ocr-to-be-cut-to-3?utm_source=e-news&utm_campaign=390dc85212-Shadow_Board_July_20157_22_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9d602dd25c-390dc85212-90407125

NZ INITIATIVE RELEASES AGENDA: Social policy, local government funding and education are key areas for public policy think tank The New Zealand Initiative over the next two years. The Initiative released its research programme today which covers the period leading up to the 2017 election. Download the report here:http://nzinitiative.org.nz/site/nzinitiative/files/work_programme__final.pdf

And that’s our sampling of the day that was on Wednesday 22nd July 2015.

Brought to EveningReport by Newsroom Digest.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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